The hardest part of grieving is trying to accept the knowledge that you’re never going to see them again, and after losing a parent this is worse. It’s stronger, it’s more emphasised, hurtful and frustrating. It’s been 9 months and I still can’t get my head around it.

You never think your parents won’t be there, you know they’re not immortal but you still just don’t ever envisage it happening, they’ve been there all the time so to suddenly have them disappear, just like that, forever, is a hard and bitter pill to swallow.

I was talking to my mum today about how I’ll go by day to day with nothing any different due to Dad living abroad. But then something comes up, like the other day morning when I just wanted to ask him a fleeting DIY question and it hits you like a slap in the face-he’s not here anymore and you’ll never see him again. It’s like taking a bullet. It’s awful, it’s frustrating and heart breaking, but I don’t break down and cry, curl up in a ball and want to drown my sorrows in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s (7 months pregnant preventing something stronger) instead I just carry on because I can’t melt down and break down every time I remember he’s not coming back. Don’t get me wrong I do at times, I have to and it’s still early days.

What really struck me today though was when mum mentioned my nephew asking after his Poppa M and having to be told by Daddy that Poppa M can’t visit anymore. How do you do that as a parent? How do you watch your child upset about something hurting you too and not break down? How do you carry on? Yet at the same time I felt comfort and joy, my nephew, a little toddler was able to remember his Poppa M well enough to carry that affection.

I also selfishly felt a little envy, because we won’t see him again, he can’t come visit anymore and the little person growing inside me won’t meet Poppa M as my nephews did and I won’t see my Dad’s brown eyes gush as he looks down with pride at a bundle of tiny fingers, toes and innocence. One day I’ll have to explain to my children who their Poppa M was and describe his quirks (and sometimes somewhat annoying habits-cue eye roll and sigh at him) it’s just a shame that it’ll only be descriptions, photos and videos.

It’s just a shame Dad that you can’t come visit anymore, we’d all like to see Poppa M again.

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